Saturday 1 February 2014

finding my own rhythm

Walking on the other side, Aragon April 2013
Finding a manageable pace doesn’t come naturally to me. When we're out walking in the mountains, if I don't consciously keep a check on myself, I’m the one bursting off at the start of the trail, only to be later gasping for breath whilst everyone else overtakes.

In daily life, the same situation often occurs, much to the detriment of my health. I easily get swept up in the excitement of new projects or carried along by the enthusiasm of others, until my body just can't take it any more.

After a busy, and therefore exhilarating Autumn, I intended for January get off to a steady and slow start. Instead, I found myself once again overloading myself to breaking point. So many unimaginable possibilities have been opening up for me work-wise since October, that it's almost impossible to say non. Hours teaching English and French or translating are thrilling and exciting. Hardly a day has gone by these past few weeks when I don't come back from an afternoon of classes buzzing with the excitement that comes finally doing a job I've worked so hard for and waited so long to do.

But with that buzz and with those hours comes exhaustion, real over-whelming, anxiety educing exhaustion.

The past week has been a real struggle, as I can feel the busy working days finally stacking up and taking their toll. Doing my accounts at the end of the month, I realise that I have unintentionally been teaching between 15 to 20 hour weeks. That, in addition to the translation projects I was working on at the start of the month mean that my bank balance is looking healthy for the first time since I received my last payment of student loan. My energy reserves are however well and truly overdrawn.

Out in the hills, I've found the key to being able to sustain greater distances is to take my time, to pace. But that inevitably means an acceptance to not only take things a little slower, but also be willing to do a little less each day. I'd love to be able to translate that same principle into my daily life, to feel it were possible to "walk" even greater distances, rather than find my steps petering out and grinding to a holt.

As February begins, I'll be searching for that seemingly elusive rhythm between race and standstill, where my legs get into a manageable rhythm and my feet feel they could keep going for ever. I'll keep my eyes on the summit, stand straight and breath deeply as I take each matter how small that step may be. 


  1. Great philosophy and beautiful pictures ! Bon courage :o)

  2. Thank you for your kind words, and for passing by!
    The photos are from a trip we took "de l'autre côté" this time last year - I was bowled over by the beauty of Aragon and could hardly believe I was in the same mountains! xx